In Conversation with Emica Penklis | LOCO LOVE
It’s very rare you when meet someone in everyday life who understands the full spectrum of determinants on our health and wellbeing. Emica Penklis is one such person, a super raw chocolatier, model, naturopath with a special interest in eating psychology. Emica discovered whilst practising naturopathy that the treatments would help heal her clients on a physical level however there is a much deeper level of healing required also integrating the mind and spirit. This revelation lead Emica to study food psychology and mind body nutrition. Our health is determined by so much more than food we eat and exercise we do and or don’t do. We embody our thoughts, feelings and emotions and this manifests physically into our general state of wellbeing and emotional fitness.
In this conversation Emica gives us the lowdown on her healthy handmade love infused chocolates (yes there is a such a thing) and shares a bit mindful advice to models that is of great relevance to everybody. The unveiling of daily rituals, favourite foodie haunts in Sydney and Byron and some other good stuff in life are uncovered too.
How has your love affair with Cacao changed the life you live today?
Completely, I often wonder how I actually arrived at this place I am today. Its not something I ever saw myself doing, I knew I wanted to created something that was beneficial for everyone though I didn’t know what that was. Chocolate is something that has such a evocative quality, it brings to mind love and pleasure, to me are the most important aspects of the human experience, we spend so much of our lives as a collective in suffering and in fear. This fact inspires me to keep doing what I do, even if it is just chocolate, my intention behind the brand is to spread love. The life I live today is really amazing, I find creating opens my heart and fills me with so much gratitude.
In what way are your handmade chocolates a point of difference from the hundreds of cacao brands emerging and why should we try Loco Love?
Loco Love in essence is an expression of myself, like Whitman said “Behold I do not give lectures, or a little charity. When I give, I give myself”. Years of studying and practising as a naturopath has given me the knowledge to create recipes that are as healthy as possible. We use all certified organic ingredients, I believe this is imperative to the health of the body and the sustainability of the planet. Loco Love is hand crafted, using Low GI organic coconut blossom nectar, which is in my option the best of the alternative sweeteners. Really the main reason I believe people should try Loco Love is because it tastes really amazing and makes you feel great. Also personally I believe the intention and energy that goes into a product such as chocolate is transferred from the maker to the consumer and I do put a lot of love into what I do. I used to feel uncomfortable with the ‘made with love’ slogan, though now its true, Loco Love Chocolate is made with love. Also our kitchen is surrounded with crystals, we don’t use tap water and our cleaning products are as natural as possible. We also use therapeutic grade oils by Doterra, the finest in the world, these have many benefits.
That sugar movie is helping spread the message about the ill effects of sugar to the mainstream, how important do you believe it is steer clear of agave and other so called ‘healthy’ natural sweeteners that spike blood sugar levels and cause the cycle of cravings?
I haven’t actually watched this film, though I have read and studied endless amounts of information on sugar and its detriment to health. I do find a lot of these movements are often sensationalised and sometimes extremist. Having studied Eating Psychology, I know that the stress that often accompanies avoiding certain foods is worse than actually consuming the foods. That being said, I personally do not eat refined sugar (very often) and agave, as they are detrimental to health and the studies support this. Agave is almost 90% fructose which is a disaster for the liver and for weight gain. I must say it does occasionally frustrate me when ‘health’ foods are packed with agave, not organic and emblazoned with ludicrous claims.
What advice would you give to other models that are looking for healthy eating choices rather than just old school calorie control?
- Relax when eating, eat slow and mindfully.
- Do not skip meals, make sure you eat some protein with each meal this stabilises blood sugar. Which keeps your energy levels stable and doesn’t leave your ravenous in the afternoon reaching for a caffeine hit and the cookie jar.
- No need to stress, there is no perfect diet for everyone.
- Obviously it is very important to eat lots of organic vegetables and fruit
- Pretty much just skip the whole supermarket and go for the freshest food possible.
Any healthy tips can you share that are embedded into your daily rituals?
- Meditate daily, I practice transcendental meditation (TM) and other forms of meditation that I had kind of invented for myself. Basically just tapping into that space of love and holding it as long as possible, all the time if you can.
- Drink good quality water, the body is 70% or more water so it is very important to hydrate yourself with filtered or spring water
- Remember to breath deeply and mindfully, oxygen is one of the most important aspects of optimum health.
- Get out into nature and try to take some time to disconnect from your phone and your responsibilities. Remember what it feels like to be just be yourself, stress and the daily grind can sometimes mask the real you.
- Smile and be kind to people.
- There is so much more to health than just what you eat, namely the state of your mind and the understanding of your purpose here in this time and space.
- Get creative and surround yourself with people that inspire you.
Emica snapped by the Facehunter
What are your top 3 favourite food destinations in Sydney and Byron Bay?
Top 3 book recommendations?
‘Be Here Now’ Ram Dass
‘Way of the Superior Man’ David Deida
‘Tales of Ordinary Madness’ Charles Bukowskz
Currently, I am into reading ‘The Kybalion Heremetic Philosophy’, ‘The Art of Sexual Ecstasy’ by Margo Anand and next up ‘Women Who Run with Wolves’ which I found a copy the other day on the side of the road.
Oh this is a hard one. I enjoy so many films, I used to be really into cult movies like ‘With Nail and I’, ‘Blue Velvet’ and ‘Christian F’. I have loved different films at different stages in my life, also a lot of documentaries I like ‘The Source Family’. Last year I liked ‘Boyhood’ although I am pretty sure everyone else did too.
Personal Life Mantra?
Again this changes, though the one this that remains constant is a daily practice of cultivating heart connection. Being in that peaceful space within myself that seems to allow everything to unfold around me in synchronicity. It more of a feeling than a mantra.
‘Live in LOVE’
Most potent life message you can share with our tribe?
Be present where ever you are, make sure you are fully there, to experience whatever it is in that moment. This allows you to really connect with others and yourself, its easier said than done. Also as much as possible try to remember that everyone is doing their best at this point in time, so have compassion for where you and others are at, take responsibility for your own life and actions.
Where can we find you and your chocolate?
Loco Love is now a maker in residence at a collaborative space with Ballsy Wild Kombucha and Wild Thing Raw. The ‘Collabatory‘ is also offering workshops and yummy events like the 10- part RAW DESSERT DEGUSTATION by LOCO LOVE! Come visit us on 495 Parramatta road in Leichhardt, NSW or get yourself booked in advance for some awesome deliciousness.
Stay tuned for my blog I am setting up in the coming months, I am soon to be offering Naturopathic and Eating Psychology Coaching consultations.
By Amanda Clegg
Integrated Health Coach